By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
Lawyers for the AWOL soldier accused of plotting an attack on Fort Hood troops filed a motion Thursday stating FBI investigators denied Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo access to an attorney before he confessed.
The motion seeks to throw out any evidence obtained as a result of his arrest, claiming it was illegal and that Killeen police did not read Abdo, 21, his Miranda rights before detaining him.
Abdo is charged with numerous felonies stemming from an alleged plot to detonate homemade explosives at a public place frequented by Fort Hood troops. Police found the Fort Campbell, Ky., soldier in possession of bomb-making materials and firearms when he was arrested outside a Killeen hotel July 27.
If convicted, Abdo could face life in prison for the most serious charge - attempted murder of officers or employees of the United States.
Abdo's attorney, Zachary Boyd of Copperas Cove, filed a flurry of motions Thursday on the final day to submit pretrial motions. U.S. District Court Judge Walter Smith scheduled an April 20 hearing for those motions.
Temple lawyer Michael White also is listed as a court-appointed defense attorney for Abdo.
The defense motion provides a clear timeline of events that led to Abdo's arrest:
The soldier went absent without leave on July 7 from his Kentucky post.
He arrived in Killeen July 24 or 25 and checked into the America's Best Value Inn on South Fort Hood Street, a hotel within walking distance of Fort Hood's East Gate.
On July 26, Abdo visited Guns Galore about 1 p.m. Five hours later, a clerk from the store reported suspicious activity to the Killeen Police Department after Abdo asked questions about gunpowder.
That evening, police began interviewing cab drivers to find the driver who took Abdo to Guns Galore and a military surplus store.
At 11 a.m. July 27, a Killeen police lieutenant interviewed employees at Surplus City and received information that led them to believe Abdo (whose identity was still unknown) may be from Fort Campbell, Ky.
About 12:40 p.m. July 27, a Killeen police sergeant and lieutenant traveled to the America's Best Value Inn to show staff surveillance pictures of Abdo obtained from Guns Galore. They compared those to video footage at the hotel.
About 12:45 p.m., Abdo walked in front of the hotel lobby, and police took him into custody.
Minutes after his July 27 arrest, Abdo admitted to plotting an attack, the motion states. Six hours later, FBI agents interrogated Abdo. At that time, he requested a lawyer, but his request was denied.
Police found Abdo in possession of numerous store-bought materials he intended to use to build two bombs, according to previous testimony from the FBI. Abdo's plan was to detonate a bomb at a public place frequented by soldiers and then shoot any survivors. Police also found guns, tools and a bomb recipe from an al-Qaida publication, according to indictments and statements from investigators.
Abdo's counsel seeks to suppress all evidence seized from a backpack Abdo wore during his arrest and anything found in his hotel room, along with confessions made to Killeen police and the FBI.
Abdo's defense team also filed discovery motions for any evidence the government may have that would point toward his innocence and documents government witnesses may use during trial. It also asked the judge to issue an extension for further motions to be filed.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553.